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Re: Path to Last Call (was closing various issues)

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 03:07:11 +0000 (UTC)
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0908230232320.13844@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Sat, 22 Aug 2009, Sam Ruby wrote:
> > Rather than assuming anything about the issue tracker, I recommend 
> > using the actual issue lists that the chairs have told me to maintain, 
> > namely the bugs database, the pending list of e-mails, and the XXX 
> > markers.
> I am a chair.  I have asked you to comment on the issues list.

I've commented on the issues list a number of times. I've said that I do 
not believe it is maintained constructively, I've pointed out how many 
issues on the list are meaningless or underdefined, I've pointed to a 
number of issues that were resolved years or months ago despite remaining 
open, etc. I used to give weekly status updates that you asked for 
discussing the issues on the issues list, but it turns out you weren't 
reading them (or at least, not responding to the questions I asked in 
them), and in fact all it showed is that the issues list that you 
maintained was languishing unchanged for months at a time.

The only progress we've seen on the issues list in _years_ is the progress 
that Maciej has made in the past few weeks -- doing, as best I can tell, 
the job you were supposed to be doing since January.

So. Rather than assuming anything about the issue tracker regarding what 
changes I will be making to the spec, I recommend using the actual issue 
lists that the chairs before you told me to maintain, as listed above.

> In the specific case of ARIA, I asked you many different times and many 
> different ways and over a course of months.

And I explained, each time, how it was a waste of time to write spec text 
before the text it referenced was written. I recently realised that I was 
wasting more time arguing with you about this than I would waste by just 
rewriting it when the relevant ARIA spec text was ready, so I wrote the
section (that will almost certainly need to be revamped in due course) 
about ARIA in HTML5.

For some reason, though, you continue to ask about it, and have still not 
marked the issue as closed, so maybe actually writing this text didn't 
save me any time after all.

> My personal assessment is that issue 41 is the only issue that you are 
> not planning on working on

Issue 41 has already been addressed in a multitude of ways, e.g. 
Microdata. If there are specific use cases that have not been addressed 
and that deserve to be, then file a bug listing them. To my knowledge, 
there is no remaining feature work to be done on this topic.

I'm not planning on working on any of the issues in the issue tracker in 
terms of issues in the issue tracker, at least not while you continue to 
fail to maintain it -- until such time as it is properly maintained, if I 
work on any of issue in the issue tracker, it will be by coincidence 
because the same issue is also raised in the bug tracker.

> And I said "of the rest, issue 41 is the only one that has a significant 
> potential for taking significant time to integrate should it attract a 
> proposal that we decide is the thing to do.  Let me know if you think 
> differently."

I think most of the issues have the potential to take significant amounts 
of time, depending on how we resolve them.

> > > > To be more specific about my request to the Chairs, we need to 
> > > > decide at least some of the following questions soon:
> > > > 
> > > > 1) Should HTML5's update to the text/html and application/xhtml+xml MIME
> > > > types be:
> > > >     A) Inline in the HTML5 spec, as is the custom for other recent W3C
> > > >        specifications?
> > > >         OR
> > > >     B) Posted as an separate IETF RFC, updating the previous RFC for
> > > >        this purpose?
> > > > 
> > > > 2) Do we need to decide the answer to #1 by Last Call?
> > >
> > > Please forgive the indirect answer, but what we need by Last Call is 
> > > a draft that enjoys the consensus of the Working Group.  I 
> > > personally have no opinion on question #1 (or more precisely: I can 
> > > live with either), and indeed, I view the proper role of a chair to 
> > > be to not to make such decisions, but rather to assess the consensus 
> > > of the group.
> > 
> > Could you assess the consensus of the group on this issue, then? I 
> > need to know whether I need to do 1B above by last call.
> Given that you said that issue 53 would only going to take a few hours, 
> if it needed to be addressed at all, I don't believe that it is on the 
> critical path, so I'm inclined to give Maciej and Julian a bit more time 
> to work on it.

Work on what? They're as stuck as I am on this -- the only thing stopping 
progress on this issue is a decision of how to proceed as a working group, 
that is, an assessment of the group's position on the issue.

Instead of again wasting our time further, could you just assess the 
consensus of the group on this issue, as you have said is your role? Now, 
not next week, or next month, or next year, but now? Or are you incapable 
of actually fulfilling even your self-described role?

> I believe that we are going to need an accessible canvas by last call. I 
> believe that we are going to need ARIA integrated by last call.  If you 
> feel differently on either of these, I am willing to poll the group at 
> this time on these matters.

ARIA is intergrated. If you have any proposals for canvas accessibility, 
then let me know; to the best of my knowledge, I've integrated everything 
about canvas accessibility that there is to integrate.

> I'll go further and say that in my opinion the way that the single best 
> way you could help accelerate our ability to reach Last Call would be 
> for you to review the following ASAP, comment on it, and consider 
> finding a mutual time that would enable you to participate in the next 
> call on the subject:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Aug/1125.html

The only concrete proposal discussed on that call, at least according to 
those minutes, is exactly what HTML5 has said should be the solution for 
accessibility of <canvas> since before the HTML WG was formed, over three 
years ago. What exactly do you want me to comment on?

I will not participate on calls. I intend to follow our chartered policy 
of using the mailing list for communication of technical matters.

> > Issue 35 is done.
> Issue 35 is still open.

What remains for me to do, then? Could you file a bug on what edits remain 
to be done to this section of the spec?

> I previously asked you if you could make the call of 13 August.  For whatever
> reason, you did not attend.

The reason is that I am following our chartered process, and that I 
believe teleconferences to be highly inefficient, as I've described in 
detail recently:


> I am now asking you if you could work with Michael Cooper and/or Richard 
> Schwerdtfeger to find a mutual time in which you could participate, via 
> phone, in a discussion on what remains to be done to complete issue 74.

I will continue to use e-mail for technical discussions, as per our 

Issue 74, as best I can tell, has no outstanding technical proposals. It 
is, from my point of view, resolved. If anyone wishes to raise a new 
technical issue with the spec regarding this topic, then they should file 
a bug in our bug tracker explaining what their use case is, or what 
problem the spec has, so that it can be addressed.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:06:57 UTC

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